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January 26, 2021
More and more people are switching on to the buzz around English sparkling wines. These wines are hitting the headlines with increasing regularity, often for winning a glitzy international award or coming out on top against famous champagnes in blind tastings.
We've definitely noticed the effect in store. Over the Christmas period, loads of customers coming to our Kemp Town shop to buy their festive fizz - maybe the majority - were specifically looking for English. Many were asking for producers by name.
For us, that shows that in our corner of the South East at least, English fizz has reached a tipping point. It's undeniably started to elbow champagne out of the way in many people's minds. And the best thing is that none of the buzz is hype.
We can be rightly proud of the sparkling wines produced in this country not because it's a quaint little cottage industry taking on the sparkling wine world order, but because what's in the bottle is already world-beating.
Across the South of England, into Wales and East Anglia, we now have the perfect conditions for growing grapes to make quality sparkling wine. We increasingly have the know-how too, which is why the standard of these wines, already incredibly high, is still rising year on year.
There are now over two dozen different English sparklers on the Butler's shelves, and that number is almost certain to go up in the coming months. So this is a great time to pick a bottle or two from our range - not least if you're looking for a way to make Valentine's Day extra special this year.
With that in mind, we'll finish up with a couple of romantic recommendations. The first is Wiston's Rosé NV (£26.99), a seductive pink fizz made by the winemaker and friend of ours, rated by many as England's best, Dermot Sugrue. Or, if you're looking for something a little different, try trailblazer Nyetimber's honey-kissed Cuvée Chèrie Demi Sec NV (£35.95), an off-dry style that gets cosy with all kinds of desserts.
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